Healthcare Debate

As we all know, I did a fantastic flip-cum-pirouette on the Burke Gilman trail about a month ago, and like any responsible person concerned about one’s brains, I went to the Swedish Hospital Emergency Entrance in Ballard. They took fantastic care of me, I paid my $100 co-pay, and that was that.

Not really.

Today in the mail I received a bill for just under $300. Swedish charged an incredible amount to the insurance company (remember, I was there for all of 2 hours: I had no IV, they cleaned up my skinned knee, gave me an ace bandage, and had a doctor look in my eyes with a light for about 15 minutes) and the insurance company paid an incredible amount to them… minus that $300 and minus my $100 co-pay.

W.T.F.

It has been my experience (except for the time I was hospitalized for a blood clot and they kept me overnight and I had to have an MRI and they kept me in ICU) that a quickie hospital stay is the $100 copay, you’re in/you’re out/you’re done. Receiving a bill for hundreds of extra dollars was not on my programme. Now, I’m fiscally conservative… to the point that those Puget Sound Energy comparison charts get me into hives to see what I can do to get my bill down… and so finding out I owe extra money (even though I have it to pay and yes will likely pay it) makes me irk just a tad.

The question is, just how much of my time is investigating (and, likely, arguing) this worth? I mean, it will start with me needing to acquire a detailed bill (this one offered only the total, no break out) and then talking to the insurance company and likely the hospital and then back to the insurance company as to what was covered, what was not, and why it wasn’t.

The fact that I spent 3 years working for the insurance company, and that it gainfully employs my best friend as an analyst, does not help.

I think I’ll wait until Monday to make the initial call…

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